Author Archive | Ludovic Leforestier

Why is Analyst Relations commanding a 46% salary premium over Public Relations?

Drawing on the  IIAR Salary Survey produced by CB Resourcing,  we thought it would be interesting to expand the information gathered with a comparison against the wider sector of public relations.  


The size of the gap between AR and PR is staggering

When we compare Analyst Relations to more general Public Relations roles for Director level/Rank 1 Analyst Relations get paid significantly more, an average of 46% above Public Relations roles in the UK.  In the majority of cases Senior Manager/Rank 2 Analyst Relations are also paid more however, the salary gap between them and Public Relations roles is not as large and in the Technology sector average basic salaries are the same. Continue Reading →

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[GUEST POST] Why Startups Need Analyst Relations More Than Growth Hacking

By Theo Pristley (@tprstly, LinkedIn), originally posted here on Forbes and republished with his express permission. Co-authored with Ian Gotts (@iangottsLinkedIn), tech advisor, investor, speaker and author.)


Industry and IT analyst firms collage (IIAR blog)

Analysts Or PR ?

You’re an innovative and growing startup, I get that. You’ve got a fab new product or service that’s going drive dramatic benefits for enterprise customers, I get that. You’ve even got a blog to push out great customer stories now and then, I get that too.

But how do you accelerate growth without piling on expensive sales guys? Or employing ninja growth hackers? And how do you make it easier for the large corporates to find you and get comfortable placing big orders with you?

ANSWER: You create relationships with the analyst community. And here’s why.

Analysts are important

Analysts have the ear of people with the purse strings. When they speak, the C-Suite listens. When a company goes out to tender for a third party product invariably an analyst will be involved in the decision making process, whether directly as a result of a consultation or indirectly through a research paper. They are able to influence not only potential customers, but they also coach and advise your potential acquirer on their product strategy including which vendors to buy.

Being included in an analyst research note is worth more than 100 blog posts, column inches in the FT/ WSJ or exhibiting at the next xyz conference. You need the analysts, whether you like it or not, to survive in both the short-term and thrive in the long term because their word carries weight. If a customer refers to an analyst for a product shortlist and you’ve never engaged with the analyst you can guarantee you’ll never make that list no matter how mind-blowingly awesome your product is.

Analyst Relations (AR) can deliver far greater short term and long term tangible benefits than any PR campaigns. Yet many startups start engaging PR before they even consider AR.

It’s never too early

It takes time to build a relationship with the right analysts that cover your product’s area. Let’s not confuse a relationship with meeting the analyst once or twice and fire-hosing them with your product pitch. You are aiming for a relationship of mutual respect, and that takes time to develop which is why engaging as early as possible is critical for survival for a startup. Done well it can position a vendor ahead of the short list in product selections and gain the attention of the leaders of industry, the media, and the competition. Poor (or no) analyst relations can result in your product being ignored by potential clients and it may limit your penetration in your existing clients

Being spotted by an analyst early on is major kudos for a small company but also for the analyst because they love to be the one who discovered a cool new vendors and write about them. And it’s also their opportunity to help you out and form part of your success. Analysts are no different from anyone else, they love being part of the action and have an ego to fuel. And again, it can’t be stressed enough, if they don’t know you neither will their clients when they ask about the market.

IIAR Blog: Box leader in the Magic Quadrant re-tweeted by Aaron Levie

Even the cool customer Levie knows the value of an analyst

But they are expensive and we don’t have the time!

Certainly, there are costs with engaging with analysts. Most charge an annual fee to be a client and have access to the analysts and research. But don’t think that you can buy your way to the top of a Magic Quadrant or Wave, or into the minds of the analysts. Or that paying for one or two consulting engagements with the analysts will do it. Think relationship, not prostitution.

Often it is the amount of money that vendors perceive they have to spend which stops them building a relationship with the analysts. The issue is most vendors spend too much money in the wrong places. It doesn’t have to be that way.

And apart from the hefty fees they ask you to sign up for there’s also the potential overhead of someone in an Analyst Relations role. Traditionally this is a new, fairly junior hire or it is outsourced to a PR/AR agency. Both of these lead to the wrong relationship being developed with the analysts, but it is a very common mistake.

Analysts need to be briefed on product functionality, but they are far more interested in customer stories. However, meeting or calls with analysts, understanding their needs and providing the information they need in the format that they want can be time consuming. They often feel like they are more difficult to deal with than clients. But they can afford to be as their influence and value is so much greater than even your best client.

What is required is a carefully crafted strategy and deep understanding of what drives analysts and how they operate. It also needs someone who has the ability and gravitas to engage them as peers and forge that professional relationship your company and product deserves. It’s not about booking appointments or groveling for time. It is the role of a senior exec or founder who inevitably has other priorities – company operation, client sales or product strategy.

So how do I make this work?

Few senior executives have engaged with analysts or developed an effective analyst strategy. And with conflicting priorities, they do not have the time or luxury to learn. But companies readily hire a Non-Exec Director to add an external perspective, exercising their ancient Rolodex and to sit on a board. Their brief is often financial or governance and theyoffer pithy advice like “if you sell more and spend less”.

A more cost effective approach is to hire a Non-Exec Director or Advisor who understands Analyst Relations and can help shape the analyst strategy, coach the senior team on the best way to engage with analysts, and act as a sounding board for decisions. They will add more value to the business as your go to market plans are meaningless without the visibility in the market that strong analyst relationships will bring.

For the price of a junior in a PR or AR firm, or hiring an intern growth hacker, you can bag a NED or Advisor who knows how to tango with the analysts.

And that’s when you can hook bigger fish.


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Around Margaret Adam from IDC in 10 Questions

Margaret Adam / IDC for the IIAR around in 10 questions

This week, we’re delighted to present you some insights from the just promoted Margaret Adam / IDC (madam_idc, LinkedIn, blog) with our world famous ten questions.


  1. What are your coverage areas?
    Officially, European Channels and Alliances, more broadly this really looks at all kinds of go-to-market and partnering relationships from traditional channel (distie, VAR, SI, MSP, ISV, etc) to new routes to market (marketplaces and cloud service brokerages) to non-traditional partners (start-ups, strategy consulting, industry cloud, digital agencies etc). Essentially, I look at routes to market and advise our customers on the optimum route to market in Europe both in the short term and longer term. Continue Reading →
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[GUEST POST] What is your product and what does it do? by Adrian Sanabria / Threatcare

Adrian Sanabria / Threatcare, guest post author on the IIAR websiteThis post by Adrian Sanabria / Threatcare (@sawaba, LinkedIn) was first published here on his blog.


Lessons I learned trying to make the most of vendor briefings

I’ve always been a sort of ‘cut-to-the-chase’ kind of guy. I’m self-taught when it comes to security and technology. Over the years, I’ve learned how to skim through a book, article or website to extract the important information. Sometimes I’m just trying to figure out how to do something, or I’m looking for an answer to a specific question.

Just tell me what time it is, I don’t need to know how atomic time clock frequency standards work.

Conversely, I also have an appreciation for context and a good story — as long as you eventually get to the point.

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Friday tip: make conference calls invite great again

Robot phone IIAR websiteA little tip after being on one too many calls which was needlessly hard to join today.

You’ve all been there: you’re on a mobile phone (because you’re busy wrapping the previous call on your laptop) but the number is buried in the invite body. Then it is a US number, like 0808 800 0082, that doesn’t work for anyone not based in the country. And then you need to memorise a 9 digit passcode. Nine digits, what were they thinking about?

The good news is that there’s a fix. Continue Reading →

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How much are you worth? Introducing the IIAR Salary Survey

IIAR/CB Resourcing Salary Survey

As a highly specialised profession, Analyst relations roles are notoriously hard to evaluate when it comes to compensation. They are often hard to find profiles, can report to different functions and thus bother recruiters and employers are often at pains to make the right call on salaries. In addition, expertise areas and their drivers are not often well understood -for instance whether analysts relation professionals manage research budgets, are the lead on one or several research firms, have a global remit, etc.

Sounds familiar? Continue Reading →

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Around Penny Jones / 451 in 10 Questions

Today we ask our probing questions of Penny Jones (LinkedIn@PennyJones451)  Principal Analyst, MTDC & Managed Services at 451 Research.

Penny Jones, 451 Research (IIAR website)

  1. What are your coverage areas?

    I cover the European multi-tenant datacenter (colocation – wholesale and retail) markets and hosting and managed services. I focus mostly on the business proposition of providers and geographic and other trends affecting these industries. Continue Reading →

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 Around Renata Barros from Cisco in 10 questions

Logo IIAR AR Professional of the YearThe third winner of the IIAR Analyst Relations Professional of the Year 2017, for Latin America, Renata Barros / Cisco (@RenataBarros, LinkedIn) gives us some insights on how she rose to the challenge and sees influence in her region. Sorry, theatre.

1. What’s been your career path to becoming an AR pro?

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BREAKING: Gartner gobbles brand benchmarking agency

2017 is definitely a a tectonic year for influencer relations: after expanding to other functions with the CEB purchase, Gartner Gartner purchases L2Inc. (NYSE:IT) announced it bought L2, a brand benchmarking agency cum research company.

This further reinforces its capabilities in marketing and digital, a segment coveted by rival Forrester (NASDAQ:FORR).

As IT expenditure moves to business lines and to the marketing fiction of customer experience, this is a path also trodden by consultancies: the big four (Deloitte, EY, PwC, KPMG), IT players such as IBM and Accenture and the TWICH (Tech Mahindra, Wipro, Infosys, TCS, Cognizant, HCL) as well as regional players such as BearingPoint have all been buying digital agencies. This potentially brings Gartner’s mainstream RAS (Research Advisory Services) in competition with those service companies as well as specialists such as Sapient Nitro (Gartner consulting sometimes already competes with some of those players. Continue Reading →

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2017, a tectonic year for influencer relations?

This January feels like our IIAR April Fool posts came early. After Gartner gobbling the largest peer-to-peer advisory firm CEB (Corporate Advisory Firm) for a cool USD 3.3 billions (2.6b in cash and stock plus 700m debt), the long awaited and many times postponed sellout of IDG, the parent company of IDC, happened yesterday.

Gartner acquisitions: META, AMR, Burton, Ideas, Software Advice, Captera, SCM WorldThose two deals are nothing less than tectonic shifts in the tech influencers space.

Firstly, the acquisition of CEB by Gartner is notable for three reasons:

1. It’s large. 3 billion dollars gorilla like.
If there was no overlap and divestures (CEB also sells some software which Gartner will have to offload to prevent conflicts of interests), the combined turnover Gartner and CEB turnover would be over USD3.3 billions (2.4b+951m) we’re seeing a 40% increase in revenues and the combined entity is on course towards 2,000 analysts. The next players, IDC and Forrester are around USD 300m in revenues, give or take. The last estimates I saw (a while back mind you) were that Gartner has anywhere between 40 to 60% market share. Having such a dominant player means higher prices (some say higher margins were the driver behind Gartner’s acquisition of META Group) and less bargaining power for buyers. It’s also obviously hard to ignore Gartner, so a little advice to vendors is maybe not to pick fights with them -such is their share of mind with technology buyers.
However, just like in the old PCM days, Gartner knows to leave scraps to second fiddles and it leaves space to disruptors -in particular on the sell-side. The IIAR Analyst Firm of the Year constantly showed that 451, Constellation, HfS and other players are definitely more than just worth looking at. And as Crawford Del Prete argues it, a second opinion can be invaluable.
2. Is Gartner plateau’ing?
With the CEB acquisition, Gartner gets access to new C-suite roles. Surely, I’d bet most CEB CIO customers also buy Gartner services and so there might be a bit of customer set duplication however CEB also serves HR, Sales, Finance and Legal functions. In fact Gartner claims it will become the leading global research and advisory company for all major functions in the entreprise.
So this is not a META Group style margins-led competitive take-out (2005) but more an expansion into new markets just like in 2009 as Gartner bought AMR, SCM World and Burton to address techies and supply chain roles.
One could infer that after years of tinkering with metrics to get more leverage, the Gartner executive team saw territory expansion as an EPS growth lever. In other words, this might signal that Gartner’s core business in IT research is plateauing? Nevertheless, with Gartner’s excellent track record in execution (IIAR members can read some tips on contract negotiation here) and international reach, expanding to other functions certainly has legs. It has already ventured in marketing and claim good growth, however Forrester still has a much better hold with this fickle audience.
The good news here for AR and influencer relations folks is the ability to leverage existing relations with Gartner to look at other audiences.
3. Does the age of algorithm prediction also apply to Gartner?
Personally, I believe the most significant impact of this acquisition is cultural. After buying and developing no less than three peer reviews offerings Gartner is moving further in the peer to peer advisory world with CEB. This is important not only because buyers value the advice from their peers more than anyone else’s but also because all of a sudden, the mighty technology priest, the feared predicator, the revered oracle becomes is demoted from his/her ivory tower. Truth ceases to be a caste monopoly and becomes the product of algorithm. Gartner famously predicted in the 2015 Symposia the age of the algorithm economy, where those become valuable IP that needs cherishing and runs the world.
As Gartner grapples with the difficult challenge of embedding more bottom-up logic in its research and offerings, it will be interesting to watch what this does to the role of the analyst: will they merely curate and socialise the result of increasingly automated insights? Looking at the profitability of Gartner’s EXP services, this might well be a wet dreams for its execs.

Where does that leave IDC and the others?

Since the disparition of founder Pat McGovern and his philanthropic wish to progress research on the human brain, the media group IDG he founded -and parent of analyst firm IDC– was up for sale for two years with several cliffhangers. We know little of Chain Oceanwide, however my bet would be for a divestiture of IDC at some point.
Whilst IDC predominantly addresses tech vendors, it also enjoys a great brand recognition and probably has the best geographical reach of all firms but none. Yet, its attempts to crack the end-user (buy-side) research and advisory services (RAS) business petered out, I suppose due to poor execution and a lack of investment in sales and go-to-market.
We’ve asked IDC to come and update the IIAR members -stay tuned!
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Constellation and the curse of the quadrant

At the beginning, the intent was pure.Gartner Real Quadrant

Industry analysts, more specifically the buy-side “prescribers” exist to help technology buyers (often referred to as end-users) select the best vendors and providers. They gather insights through public and private sources such as (semi-)private vendor briefings and conversations (inquiries) with their end-user subscribers. Some analysts take hundreds of briefings and inquiries in a year, allowing them to gather unique insights on the market segments they cover. This accumulated knowledge allow them to monetise this information asymmetry as reports, consulting sessions, speaking engagements, etc.

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IIAR AR Professional of the Year 2016 profile: Peggy O’Neill

Peggy O'NeillPeggy O’Neill, Senior Director, Analyst Relations at Informatica,  (@pegoneillLinkedIn) is the IIAR AR Professional of the Year 2016 for North America. In this interview, she discloses a few best AR practices from her own shop.

  1. What’s been your career path to becoming an AR pro?
    I was a former analyst at Gartner and Nielsen/NetRatings and Oracle recruited me to head its analyst relations program in 2001.

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Don’t tell my mother I work in AR, she believes I’m a pianist…

DonttellmymotheriaminarWhilst public relations and marketing are mainstream in commercial companies, most analyst relations (AR) professionals are often at pain to describe their role.

AR is a relatively new discipline, tracing its origins in the last 15-20 years when a handful of very large ICT firms institutionalised a function to handle consultants and analysts relation. Nowadays all major technology vendors and services players have established sizeable analyst relations (AR) departments –50 to hundred strong for mega-vendors such as IBM or HP. Its raison d’être is to liaise with industry analysts, providing them a single point of contact and managing the relationship between them and the suppliers. Continue Reading →

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IIAR Analyst Professional of the Year 2016

The Institute of Industry Analyst Relations, the not-for-profit professional association established to raise awareness of analyst relations and the value of industry analysts, has announced the winners of the IIAR Analyst Professional of the Year 2016 and the IIAR AR Team of the Year 2016

IIAR AR Professional of the Year

London, Wednesday 6th July 2016. The survey looked at the analysts’ perception of how AR professionals are performing as a whole and compare it with results from the past, according to the ‘Three Rs’ of AR:

  • Responsiveness
  • Relationship
  • Results

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IIAR Webinar – Why Peer Review Sites Matter: Influence and the digital buyer

Mike Fauscette / G2 CrowdWhy Peer Review Sites Matter: Influence and the digital buyer
Presented by Mike Fauscette (LinkedIn, @mfauscette), Chief Research Officer at G2 Crowd.
Moderated by Ludovic LeforestierLinkedIn @lludovic), Bearing Point and IIAR Board

When: Thursday 22 September 2016
Time: 08.00 PST/ 11.00 EDT/ 16.30 BST/ 17.30 CEST

The Internet and mobile technologies have changed the way people interact and created a population that is always on and always connected. This new connectivity and interaction patterns have opened up many new business innovation and opportunities, but at the same time has led to behavioral changes that are creating frictions and unmet expectations among employees, partners and customers/prospects. For many companies this manifests as a “sales” problem but is, in fact a buyer behavioral “problem”. Buyers are looking to new sources of information, sharing past experiences and in general influenced in new ways and by different I information sources. Continue Reading →

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Meet the 2016 IIAR board

IIAR Logo SmallTo ensure continuity in the new year, the IIAR board opted to open two positions for 2016, to replace Debleena Paul and John Gallaher who both wished to step down.

The board would like to thank them for their support in 2015 and is looking forward to John and Debleena’s continued engagement.

Two candidates have stepped forward for those positions and therefore were confirmed immediately. From January, the new board for the next 12 months is presented below. Continue Reading →

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Who’s the IIAR Analyst of the Year 2015?

The IIAR mainframe has been humming… and the winners will be announced tomorrow ( 1st December 2015) at the IIAR Christmas Party in London.

Stay tuned…


Past winners

The IIAR Analyst of The Year has been running since 2008, see below the past winners.

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IIAR Café @ Gartner Symposium Barcelona

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